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the theological; and, what is of greater moment, the philological discussion will probably be read with greater calmness.
We are not able to see with Dr. Halley, in all the opinions he has stated on the first of these two subjects. Assuming with him, for argument's sake, that Banrico always denotes, to dip, we think he gives too much latitude to deviation. We admit his proposition, when there is a sincere intention to obey the will of Christ as far as it is known. We believe that such moral obedience satisfies the demands of positive precepts. So far we agree with Dr. Halley, and so far we contend for an exception to the rule asserted by Booth and others in relation to positive precepts. We approve their rule in general, and we receive the exception (which being admitted on special grounds, is a confirmation of it,) under the authority of the apostle, and on the principle expressed by him in Rom. xiv. 5, 6—“Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind: he that regardeth a day, to the Lord doth he regard it," &c. He obeys to the very best of his knowledge, and this obedience is not to be questioned by his differing brother. But we cannot admit of arbitrary alterations in a positive institute under the principle (p. 317,) "that symbolic and commemorative institutions derive all their value from the evangelical truths which they symbolise or commemorate." This principle may be true,—we believe it is so, but we cannot admit the proposed application of it. We find that the correct interpretation and due appreciation of symbols is a very uncertain, fluctuating thing. It is a subjective result of study, and not unfrequently (we are now speaking of authorised Christian symbols) of prayer, and practical holiness. According to Dr. Halley, unless we have misunderstood him, the form of a symbolical institute may be varied to express the spirit of it in a manner better adapted to new circumstances (pp. 304-5). This, of course, implies the spirit of it as realised at the time the variation is to be allowed. A variable, uncertain, subjective theory concerning the precept is thus the legitimate standard by which its form is to be from time to time adjusted; and the original form, even if it can be satisfactorily ascertained, was but an accidental and temporary vehicle. Our view is diametrically opposed to this. We believe that the symbolic form is not a temporary vehicle of spiritual life,-designed like the caterpillar's or the chrysalis' form, to be displaced by some newer evolution,-but a stereotype of truth, a form which, supposing it to undergo changes through ignorance or innovation, would probably always retain more of the truth embodied in it, than any other form of popular instruction, and always be more easily susceptible of restoration than any other, and would thus be an important instrument for arresting the progress of doctrinal corruption, when it should set in, or for facilitating its removal in a time of reformation.
But Dr. Halley supports his view by referring to the general non3 N
N. S. VOL. IX.
observance of the kiss of charity, (pp. 307-309); the sanction given by our Lord to his disciples when they plucked the ears of corn upon the sabbath, (p. 320,) especially his argument on David's eating of the shew-bread, (ibid.); and the "Christian law of the sabbath," by which the strictness of the Jewish law was moderated, and the festival shifted from the seventh day of the week to the first, (pp. 323-325.) He also lays considerable stress on certain deviations from the original observance of the Lord's supper, which all communions have admitted, (pp. 311–316;) and contends that a strict adherence to the original form of a sacrament, would require us, on the grounds of consistency, to use the Lord's prayer in every devotional service. Some of these points are alleged ad hominem in reply to Baptists; but it is evident that Dr. Halley considers them to represent the instruments of a true solution of the difficult problem he is engaged with.
It is not from any want of respect either to Dr. Halley or his arguments, that we must decline to examine them in detail. Our space compels us to be brief. We do not consider that the kiss of charity was a Christian institute. The kiss was in the apostles' days a common friendly salutation. We have another form of friendly salutation in common use now. The apostles, exhorting the brethren to the mutual recognition of each other, chose to impress the duty by means of its conventional sign, just as we might do in modern times by saying to the members of a church-When you meet each other anywhere do not be distant, but give each other the hand, and acknowledge each other as brethren. It has been the fashion in those societies which have retained the kiss of charity, to use it in the course of a religious service, and as part of it; but we imagine it was intended for the ordinary intercourse of society. The right hand of fellowship should, on this principle, always be given to a Christian brother in good moral standing, on those occasions in which we should give the hand to any respectable private friend.
In his reference to the narrative in Matt. xii. 1—8, Mark ii. 23-28, and Luke vi. 1-5, Dr. Halley has overlooked what we cannot but consider an important point in the argument-we mean what our Lord says in the concluding verse of these sections : "That the Son of Man was Lord also of the Sabbath." In Luke he is not reported to have said, The Sabbath is made for man, &c.; so that the evangelist seems to have understood the principle of defence to have consisted in the prophetic character which David and our Lord had in common. It is evident that our Lord did not rest the defence of the disciples on their hunger only, or the small exertion they made, though those things are hinted at (Matt. xii. 7) as reasons why the Pharisees should have withheld their objection.
For departing from the strict religious observance of the seventh day of the week, all Christians have apostolical authority, (Col. ii. 6.) They
are also sanctioned by the same authority in observing the first. Whether, therefore, the Lord's-day be the old ordinance relaxed and shifted, or a new ordinance, does not matter. Supposing it were the former, the authority of Christ, in his apostles, was clearly adequate to authorise the change, even though the Sabbath was a positive institute. Dr. Halley admits this. But it does not follow, that because apostles could modify a positive institute, we are at liberty to do so.
Dr. Halley's observation, that those who adhere so strictly to the alleged sense of Banтic are in consistency bound to adhere to the acknowledged sense of deinvov, and observe that ordinance in the evening, has a show of reason; but we do not know that it is sound. A Baptist might reply: We should attach as much importance to the import of δεῖπνον as of βαπτίζω, if we did not think there was reason to infer from the Scriptures, that the apostles observed the ordinance at various times of the day. We hold ourselves at liberty, under this presumed sanction, to depart from the strict import of the sense in the former case, but we have not the same dispensation in the other. Now, if a Baptist did so reply, it is clear that Dr. Halley must go beyond the limit of his present argument to refute him. He could not admit, for argument's sake, that Barrigo always means dip, and yet that apostolic practice sanctioned the administration of baptism by sprinkling.
Before proceeding to the philological question, Dr. Halley devotes a few pages (326-339) to a consideration of the Baptist argument, that Rom. vi. 3, 4, and Col. ii. 12, which speak of our being buried with their baptism, imply immersion as the mode of it. It is hardly possible that refutation should be more triumphant than it is in these pages. The crudeness and incongruity of the various theories of illustration to which the fancy in question has given rise, are exposed with equal skill and vigour. The singular absurdities of Dr. Carson on the figurative import of baptism are briefly detailed in a note on pp. 335–6. We must extract a few of Dr. Halley's observations on the alleged import of Rom. vi. 3, 4.
"In the next place, the symbol appears to us incongruous and inappropriate. It may be said, we have no right to pronounce upon the propriety of authorised symbols; but in this instance the supposed resemblance between immersion and burial is the foundation of the whole argument. It is said by the Baptists, Sprinkling does not represent a burial; and our reply is, Neither does immersion. The momentary and hasty dipping is so little like the solemn act of committing the body to the earth; the water is so little like a tomb; the service so little like a funeral solemnity; the words, I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, so unappropriate to the burial of the dead, (and our friends, notwithstanding the use of this formulary, do not profess to bury alive,) that sprinkling itself appears to me as good and veritable a symbol of a believer's burial, as such an immersion. 'Besides, the burial is with Christ in his tomb, and therefore the burial of Christ is the model of the service. But was Christ let down into the earth? Was there in
his burial any circumstance which can be fitly represented by immersing in water? To lay a person in a tomb cut in a rock, and to complete the sepulchre by rolling a stone to the opening, bear no resemblance to any mode of baptism whatever. Our Baptist friends, we think, gain some adventitious aid by representing immersion as the sign of a burial, because the baptistery, as usually made in their chapels, in size and form, most fortunately for their argument (I do not say they take undue or designed advantage of it) resembles an English grave much more than it does a Jewish sepulchre. Were the image of the sepulchre in the garden, to be exhibited in front of the baptistery, the charm of the representation, and with it the force of the argument, would, we imagine, be speedily dissolved.
"Or is the scene to be changed? Instead of the tomb of Jesus, are we to think of the usual sepulchre of that age? As the burial is with Christ, we have no right to be allured from the garden of Joseph. But seek where we may for a burial in connexion with the passage, we shall find no resemblance to immersion,—not even the poor analogy of an English funeral deposited in a Jewish tomb, embalmed in the spicery of the dead, and wrapped in clean linen: our Lord was interred as the manner of the Jews is to bury. From his tomb, although bound hand and foot in graveclothes,' Lazarus could come forth. To a Jewish burial, I see no resemblance to immersion. We are speaking of tombs in which demoniacs found shelter and robbers a refuge.
"But addressed to the Romans, does the representation accord with the funeral solemnities of the imperial city? The Jews buried their dead, according to the manner of their own nation; and the Romans of that age placed the corpse upon a pyre, and deposited its ashes in an urn.* We have in baptism no sign of cremation; immersion in Rome would remind no one of a burial. The shadow of the watery tomb would become invisible near the blaze of the funeral pile. If water, to the Romans or to the Jews, suggested any recollections of the dead, they would more probably be associated with the universal custom of washing the corpse. ‘Tarquinii corpus bona fœmina lavit et unxit.' A burial in water must have appeared to the ancients the most incongruous of symbols, estranged from all their associations and sympathies."-pp. 338-341.
The philological argument is, in our judgment, brought by Dr. Halley to a very satisfactory issue. He first proves by three clear instances, that Banrise was employed by classic authors to denote the being in (or covered by) water, where this could not be, or was not regarded as, the result of immersion. He next shows that the term is used in the New Testament, e. g., 1 Cor. x. 1, 2, Matt. iii. 11, Acts i. 5, ii. 2, 3, Mark vii. 4, Luke xi. 38, Heb. ix. 9-13, in appropriation to various religious rites in which there was no immersion. After this, he illustrates (pp. 387-391) some references, also in the New Testament, to Christian baptism, which seem to sustain the inference that immersion was not the idea in the mind of the sacred writers. These references are, Acts x. 47, as illustrated by the context, and Heb. x. 19-22. He then, having admitted that the Jewish proselyte baptism, as described in the Rabbinical books, was by im
*The Christians at a very early period renounced the custom of burning their dead and deposited them in sepulchres and catacombs; but such a distinction could not have become prevalent so soon after the formation of their church.
mersion, discusses (pp. 395-414) in connexion with John iii. 22, Acts ii. 41, viii. 12, and xvi. 15, the mode of baptism as administered by John the Baptist, the apostles, and Philip, and shows the strong improbability that these baptisms were by immersion, especially in the case of females. The argument-so far as the lecture itself is concerned-concludes with an examination (pp. 417-435) of the modal import of βαπτίζειν and βάπτισμα, as employed by the earliest ecclesiastical writers, both Greek and Latin, whence it is manifest, that with them it was by no means synonymous with immersion. Under this branch of the argument, Dr. Halley elucidates the following propositions :
"1. Ecclesiastical writers admit Christian baptism to have been valid in which there was no immersion.
"2. They speak of other ablutions as baptisms in which there was no immersion.
"3. They apply to Christian baptism, passages of Scripture, which obviously exclude immersion.
"4. They speak of the lustrations of the heathen, in which there was no immersion, as their baptisms, or imitations of baptism."-p. 420.
The inference Dr. Halley derives from the whole inquiry is, that it would be wrong to concede the right to restrict the administration of baptism to immersion, or any one mode whatever. "Scripture," says he, "imposes upon us no such restriction; and to allow any inferior authority to do so, would be to compromise a principle of inestimable importance."
In a very lengthened appendix to this lecture, (see pp. 439-487,) Dr. Halley has extensively discussed the late Dr. Carson's work on baptism, so far as it respects the mode. This appendix is in fact a very masterly analysis and review of Dr. Carson's argument, both as to the substance and spirit of it. Having appeared too late to be of use to the remarkable man who was principally addressed in it, we trust that it will yet deter any other champion of the same cause from catching the departed author's mantle. May every future writer on this subject rather imitate the author of the volume before us, who distorts no evidence, imputes no bad motives, and shrinks from no concessions which truth and candour, even in the mildest way, suggest! The earnestness with which, in this appendix, he requests that certain portions of his lecture-e. g. the discussion, John iii. 22; Acts ii. 41, &c.—may be perused with caution, is an example of that modesty in controversy, which usually accompanies extensive learning, and is its most appropriate ornament.
We have presented the preceding analysis of Dr. Halley's argument, that we might give our readers a more definite view than they would otherwise probably have, of the principal points and passages which